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Procedures and guidance for Muslim burial funerals.

Grave preparation

Prior to the burial, graves are excavated by our gravediggers. The gravediggers remove the topsoil and concrete flagstones and place them beside the grave. The pre-folded plastic sheet that was placed inside the vault is also moved to the side of the grave, along with two spades for later use. If the plastic sheet is missing, our gravediggers can supply a new sheet.

The pre-cast vaults are already in position, where a plastic sheet is folded and placed inside the vault for use after the burial. Concrete flag stones are placed over the vault and topsoil is then put back on the vault until the vault is required for a burial.

Arrival of the deceased

It is important that the body of the deceased arrives at the grave by the specified time. If this time cannot be adhered to, the Cemetery Office should be informed.

Please note that if Cemetery Staff have other commitments to attend to for other funerals, the burial cannot be guaranteed to go ahead. If the funeral is late, the council reserves the right to postpone and rearrange for the next day.

Lowering the deceased

Where possible, there should be a nominated Muslim community representative present to ensure the smooth running of the burial.

For other containers, you should consider the method of lowering the deceased very carefully. You will need to ensure there are sufficient bearers to carry and lower the deceased into the grave. The lowering of the coffin must take place in a controlled and dignified manner. Risk assessments for lowering coffins into graves are available on request from the Cemetery Office.

The gravediggers have a discreet presence at the burial to check that everything required is in place, including slings. It's not safe or sensible for anyone to enter a grave, so slings are used to lower the deceased. For coffins and rigid containers, slings will be available at the grave side.

Covering the chamber

Once the coffin has been lowered and the slings removed, a row of concrete flagstones are placed over the vault. This is followed by the plastic sheet and a second row of flagstones, which should ensure a watertight seal.

Concrete flagstones are heavy and can be awkward to move, particularly if they are wet and difficult to hold. It is recommended to wear globes and take extreme care around the open vault. 

The community representative will be issued with a risk assessment for this procedure, which must be always adhered to.

Returning soil to the grave

In many cases, families wish to return the soil to the grave personally. On-site staff are available to assist or complete this task if requested.

Great care must be taken to ensure that families and mourners are not injured while returning soil to the grave, as accidents and injuries can occur. This is particularly true when too many people try to do this at the same time and get in each other's way. For this reason, we recommend that only two people return the soil to the grave at any one time.

We recommend that suitable footwear is worn to prevent injury to feet and bare feet are not allowed under any circumstances.

The soil on the grave should be left mounded, to allow it to settle. After the ceremony, our gravediggers will tidy the grave area and remove any excess soil.

Burial assistance

If you do need help, advice or a health and safety risk assessment, please contact Bury Cemetery Office on 0161 253 6510. 

You can also get advice from a local Funeral Director, mosque or community representative.

Out of hours burial

For burials in a vault outside of normal working hours, such as a weekend or bank holiday, please call our out of hours service..

For a funeral to take place on the same day we must be notified before 10am and all paperwork received before 12pm.

All burials outside of normal working hours will incur an additional charge and you must have the legal certificate of burial before booking a funeral.